What Exactly is Marriage Counseling?
“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility” – George Levinger
We all know romantic relationships are hard work. Like a garden, the relationship needs repeated attention, watering, weeding, and fertilizing to keep it healthy. It’s always better to invest in problem prevention by addressing it early than to invest much more later when there is a major breakdown. Regular maintenance and tune-ups are the key to a great marriage to eliminate or minimize greater conflicts later.
Many times, a couple can deal with the basic maintenance and repairs on their own. Other times, however, even with sincere effort, professional outside assessment and treatment may be necessary to help the couple. Many people take more routine care of their houses and cars than they do of their own marriages. Unfortunately, many couples wait until much damage has been done and negative relational patterns have become established. This weakens the prior strong emotional, verbal, and behavioral bonds, which contribute to the layering of unresolved differences and resentment. Some researchers indicate that couples wait as long as six years before taking professional couple counseling advice.
Some couples have misunderstandings about what marriage counseling service in Marietta is and how it works. This may inhibit many from obtaining relationship counseling earlier because they may believe it is only for serious problems, such as addiction or affairs. This often leads to a final effort before a divorce. Other couples believe that they can drag their marriage partner to counseling so that the counselor can prove how right they are and how wrong their partner is.
There is a healthy way to view marriage counseling sessions. The following two items are helpful to have if you are pursuing marriage counseling. First, each of you must be willing to look in the mirror and face your own contribution to the problem and be willing to identify personal ways to fix it instead of blaming your spouse. Second, each of you should already have decided to stay in the relationship, not just evaluate whether you should still be in the relationship. If you are undecided, seek individual counseling first to determine your willingness to stay in the relationship then pursue marriage counseling in Smyrna.
Marriage or relationship counseling is a type of coaching, psychotherapy, or treatment in which a counselor with educational training and clinical experience works with couples, such as a Licensed Professional Counselor. The counselor seeks to help each person in the couple obtain more insight into their relationship, resolve conflict more productively, and improve relationship satisfaction by utilizing a variety of therapeutic interventions, assessments, and exercises. Although the practice of marriage counseling may vary depending on the therapist’s theoretical orientation, most marriage counseling tends to involve the following common elements:
- Identification of a specific problem (an affair, control, sexual misunderstandings, etc.).
- Active counselor participation in treating the entire relationship, not just the individual.
- Solution-focused, short-term, change-oriented interventions are employed in the beginning.
- Clear formation of treatment goals.
- Practice steps to meet these goals.
You’ve decided to get counseling for your Marriage – Now What?
First, let me congratulate you on being a great investor if indeed you follow through with the expert marriage counseling tips. You are making the right decision to invest in your relationship, which may pay dividends for your lifetime and that of your children and grandchildren. Second, see how marriage counseling can personally help you make a difference in your marriage.
Effective marriage counseling in Woodstock may utilize some of the following strategies to help you resolve your issues (adapted from Benson, McGinn, & Christensen, 2012):
- Assists you and your partner to see your relationship more objectively.
- Gives you both tools to identify and change dysfunctional behavior so you can choose healthier communication styles and connect positively with each other.
- Reduces the tendency to avoid each other emotionally so a safe environment can be created in which you and your partner may communicate his or her thoughts/feelings.
- Improves communication (Effective marriage counseling will provide you with the guidance needed for utilizing the best tools for communicating).
- Assesses each partner’s strengths and helps you and your partner build on those strengths to increase enjoyment in your relationship.
When to seek marriage counseling
Communication is a fundamental aspect of any relationship thus difficulties in communication can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and emotional distance. If couples find themselves struggling to effectively communicate with each other, marriage counseling services in Woodstock can provide guidance and tools to improve their communication skills, such as active listening, assertiveness, and conflict resolution techniques.
Emotional or Intimacy Concerns
If one or both partners are struggling with emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, or if there are challenges in maintaining intimacy and closeness in the relationship, marriage therapy can provide a supportive environment to explore these concerns and work towards finding solutions.
Life transitions, such as becoming parents, empty nesting, retirement, or dealing with aging parents, can also cause changes and challenges in a relationship. With marriage counseling strategies in Marietta, you may be able to navigate these transitions, manage stress, and adapt to new roles and responsibilities.
If couples find themselves caught in persistent conflicts or patterns of negative interactions, professional marriage counseling can provide them with tools and strategies to break these patterns and promote healthier ways of relating to each other.
Infidelity or Trust Issues
Infidelity can cause significant a lot of strain in a relationship. Moreover, rebuilding trust can be a challenging process however marriage counseling can provide a structured and supportive environment for couples to work through the emotions, rebuild trust, and restore the relationship.
Enhancing Relationship Skills
Even if a relationship is relatively healthy, couples may opt for a couple counseling tune up in Woodstock to enhance their relationship skills and deepen their connection. It can provide a space for personal growth, self-awareness, and strengthening relationship skills, such as emotional intelligence, empathy, and effective communication.
I would like to assist you in changing your marriage for the better.